Blackburn boss Hughes warns of Arsenal's "dark arts"

Blackburn Rovers boss Mark Hughes has turned the spotlight on the behaviour of Arsenal's players ahead of tonight's Carling Cup semifinal.

The Rovers manager said: "There always seems to be a tone leading into games against Arsenal, where people tend to highlight our misdemeanours and how we approach the game. We obviously had another guy sent off at the weekend, so that perpetuates the myth, but if we competed in the manner we are supposed to compete, then we wouldn't have been beaten at the weekend."

Blackburn, defeated 5-3 at Wigan on Saturday, have received five red cards already this season.

Hughes added: "Certainly in the past, some clubs have put comments out leading into games against us in an effort to influence the referees. It's a touch of the dark arts, I suppose. But Arsenal's players have been banging the drum about how they can cope with the physical side of the game this year, so they know that it is part and parcel of the game."

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